Playground and library outings around Seattle are a wonderful way to spend the day. Get the wiggles out at a playground, then walk to a library for some story downtime.
This strategy helped my energetic kid go from a reluctant reader to an enthusiastic one. Most of these combinations also have tasty options nearby, so you can have a picnic in the park with snacks, takeout meals or ice cream.
Here are 10 playground and library outings around Seattle for you to explore.
This park and library combination can’t be beat for an easy outing. They are steps away from each other, share a parking lot and have a transit stop, out front. The park is very manageable in size, with a few types of play structures and tandem swings (flat seat and bucket swing). The library has a good-sized children’s section, including books in several languages. Snack options are limited, although the Kraken Community Iceplex and Northgate Mall are across the street and have eateries with a variety of food choices.
Northgate Branch: 10510 5th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125
Northgate Park: 10548 5th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125
The Wallingford Playfield has a mix of equipment, a small musical area, sandpit, tennis courts, open field and an easy loop for walking, biking, scooting or skating. Although the library is small, it has a nice selection of children’s books. Have a seat at the tables and share some books with one another.
There are lots of tasty options within walking distance of the library and park, including Asian cuisines (dumplings, Thai, Indian, Japanese) and dessert shops (ice cream, gelato, and cupcakes!)
Wallingford Playfield: 4219 Wallingford Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Wallingford Branch: 1501 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Distance: 3 blocks
This popular park has so much to do! Check out the playground, tennis courts, baseball fields, basketball courts, community center and boat rentals. Then walk across the street to the library, which has a spacious children’s section and large windows overlooking the park. An array of restaurants and a coffee shop are nearby too.
Note: Check the library schedule. It may close due to high temperatures because it is not equipped with air conditioning.
Green Lake Park: 7201 East Green Lake Dr N, Seattle, WA 98115
Green Lake Branch: 7364 East Green Lake Dr N, Seattle, WA 98115
Distance: 1.5 blocks
The playground, basketball court, sandpit, and tennis courts will keep kids busy. The library, a renovated former fire station, is a short walk away, along a quiet street. The library is very small, but the book collection features a good selection of children’s books. Have a seat at the storyteller’s bench inside the library and take in the views through the large windows. Stop by the sculpture of animals outside and admire the art called “The Peaceable Kingdom.” Enjoy the nearby cupcake shop or restaurant options along 34th Avenue
Madrona Playground: 3211 E Spring St, Seattle, WA 98122
Madrona–Sally Goldmark Branch: 1134 33rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Distance: 1 block
This is a great combination for rainy days. Kids can climb on the Fremont Troll, which is gripping an actual VW Bug. The sculpture (and your kids) will stay dry, thanks to its location below an overpass. Walk downhill to the library, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The children’s section is smaller, but has a nice variety of books. There are several restaurants in easy walking distance, as well as a kid-friendly brewery (Fremont Brewing) with covered outdoor seating.
Note: Contact the library regarding summer closures due to hot temperatures. The building is not equipped with air conditioning.
Fremont Troll: 820 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Fremont Branch: 731 N 35th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Distance: 1.5 blocks
This park has a small but fun playground, easy paved trail, historical buildings and a dog park. You can rent paddle boards or bring bikes and cross the pedestrian bridge to the Sammamish River Trail. The library has a nice children’s section and a large, airy feel. Head a few blocks east to find some restaurants (a variety of sit-down places and Ranch Drive-In, the oldest burger joint in Bothell), a cupcake and ice cream shop.
Bothell Landing Park: 9999 NE 180th St, Bothell, WA 98011
Bothell Library: 18215 98th Ave NE, Bothell, WA 98011
Distance: 1.5 blocks
Parking is limited to 4 hours and you just might use all of it at this location. The park has a playground, tennis courts, basketball court, skate park, ball field and outdoor pool. Grab a shake and burger or fries from Shake Shack and heard to the playground with the splash pad (in the summer). The library is large, bright and nicely organized, with lots of early-reader books and a good selection of world language books.
Peter Kirk Park: 202 3rd St, Kirkland, WA 98033
Kirkland Library: 308 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033
Visit the upper commons and don’t miss the skate park, small playground and basketball half-court. The lower commons has a playground, seasonal spray park, grills and paved loop trails. The commons are connected by a paved path that snakes back and forth up a hill. The library is spacious with a nice children’s section and huge windows overlooking the park. Need a snack? The farmers market is open on Wednesday afternoons from May through September, otherwise the options are few, so bring your own treats.
Sammamish Commons (Lower): 801 228th Ave SE, Sammamish, WA 98074
Sammamish Library (Upper): 825 228th Ave SE, Sammamish, WA 98075
Distance: Adjacent (Upper Commons) to 0.5 miles (Lower Commons)
The 30-foot rope pyramid is a huge draw for kids who love climbing (see featured photo)! Others enjoy the seesaws and small playground (designed for ages 2-5). In the summer, the misting feature cools kids off, without getting clothes too wet. The library is an airy space with a nice children’s section and books in several languages. There are a handful of restaurants and a few grocery stores/marts within a few blocks.
Sunset Neighborhood Park: 2680 Sunset Ln NE, Renton, WA 98056
Renton Highlands: 2801 NE 10th St, Renton, WA 98056
More in Seattle’s Child
Want more playground outings and fun adventures? Check out these themed parks.
Hang out at these all-abilities parks.
Add the beach to your park outing
Sign up for our Book Corner newsletter